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Ray Lewis addresses the families of two slain men from Atlanta stabbings during pregame show

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Ray Lewis' interview with former Baltimore Ravens teammate Shannon Sharpe provided one of the few intriguing moments of the first few hours of CBS' pregame show.

Sharpe asked Lewis what he would say to the families of the two men killed in Atlanta after the Super Bowl in 2000. Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice after that incident. The families have spoken out in the last month including a story in USA Today about Lewis being celebrated for what he has done in the NFL.

Lewis' comments aren't likely to make the families feel much better.

[Related: Departing Ray Lewis leaves behind complicated legacy]

"It’s simple," Lewis said when Sharpe asked him what he would say to the families.
"God has never made a mistake. That’s just who He is, you see. And if our system – it’s the sad thing about our system – if our system took the time to really investigate what happened 13 years ago, maybe they would have got to the bottom line truth. But the saddest thing ever was that a man looked me in my face and told me, ‘We know you didn’t do this, but you’re going down for it anyway.’ To the family, if you knew, if you really knew the way God works, he don’t use people who commits anything like that for His glory. No way. It’s the total opposite."

If Sharpe asked any foll0w-up questions about what Lewis did know about what happened, or who told him he was "going down for it," they weren't shown. The next question was Sharpe asking about a financial settlement Lewis reached with the families.

"The one thing I said that, because my name was used the wrong way, money is the last thing I’m worried about, but if money will help those kids out – and not just those kids but any kid I can help, any family I can support, I’ll support," Lewis said to Sharpe. "So don’t just take that family and say I gave money to that family, because I’ve given money to thousands of families time and time again, just to find a different way to help somebody through a rough time."

It's easy to wonder if Lewis sees a difference between paying the families of two slain men as opposed to helping out other families in need, but if Sharpe pressed him, that wasn't shown either. But credit Sharpe for bringing up the issue in the first place. Lewis didn't want to talk about the issue at media day on Tuesday.

[Related: Ray Lewis agitated over link to PED during Super Bowl week]

Also credit CBS analyst Boomer Esiason for bringing up what wasn't said in the interview. Esiason mentioned Lewis' "complex legacy" and was challenged by Sharpe on set to clarify what that meant.

"He was involved in a double murder and I’m not so sure he gave us all the answers we were looking for," Esiason said. "He knows what went on there. He can obviously just come out and say it. He doesn’t want to say it. He paid off the families – I get all that, that’s fine. But that doesn’t take away from who he is as a football player. I appreciate you going down there and asking him that direct question. I'm not so sure I buy the answer."

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